The United States Justice Department has revealed a chat between Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare and her alleged drug supplier Eric Lira.
Lira, 41, has been charged to court for allegedly supplying drugs to two athletes for the “purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo Games.
A document on the US justice department’s website said Okagbare, 33, admitted she ran faster after taking a substance given to her by Lira, a naturopathic therapist based in El Paso.
The chats were discovered when US officials examined a mobile phone in Okagbare’s possession as she re-entered the United States following her ejection from the Tokyo Games.
Messages on Okagbare’s phone also revealed the sprinter had been working with Lira from at least 2020, according to the US court document.
The indictment included encrypted correspondence from Okagbare — identified only as “Athlete 1” — and Lira where the Nigerian testifies to the effectiveness of the substances following Olympic trials in Lagos on June 17, where she clocked a wind-assisted 10.63sec in the 100m.
“Hola amigo / Eric my body feel so good / I just ran 10.63 in the 100m on Friday / with a 2.7 wind / I am sooooo happy / Ericccccccc / Whatever you did, is working so well,” Okagbare wrote.
In a later message, Lira said Okagbare was poised to “dominate” in Tokyo.
“What you did . . . is going to help you for the upcoming events,” Lira wrote. “You are doing your part and you will be ready to dominate.”
The indictment also included details of further exchanges between Okagbare and Lira after she is informed of her positive test.
“Call me urgently. . . [t]hey said one of my result came out positive on HGH . . . I don’t understand,” Okagbare wrote.
The sprinter was suspended for doping on July 31, 2021, at the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.
Her sister had claimed Okagbare was being forced to admit guilt.